Bring You Home
Imaginative puzzle game
$2.99 From Alike Studio, bringyouhomegame.com Made for iPhone, iPad Needs iOS 8.0 or later
The iPad’s large display can enable immersive, tactile experiences that don’t work on traditional gaming systems. Bring You Home is a case in point, rethinking platform puzzling by having you directly manipulate the environment rather than the protagonist.
Said protagonist is Polo, a blue alien who’s just seen his pet kidnapped by villains who then disappear via a portal. Polo sets off in pursuit, falls from a secondfloor window, and faceplants on the ground.
Fortunately for Polo, time then rewinds, and you are invited to save his dignity and face. Tap the play button and Polo’s fall is broken. He then leaps through the portal to find himself in a jungle. Clambering up a vine, it snaps, and Polo is in trouble again. This time, there are four options — giant mushrooms, pink beasts with dangly tails to grab, and a spiky plant that might work as a “ladder”…
At this point, you might think it’s going to be a cinch to get that pet back, but Bring You Home quickly ramps up the difficulty. Scenes introduce multiple panels, some that move, and multistep solutions. Single-screen scenes become complex webs, where setting Polo off in a particular direction may result in a decidedly unexpected outcome. Sometimes, the logic is a touch suspect, and you might wonder, on seeing Polo killed several times in a row, if Bring You Home is too reliant on trial and error.
Really, though, what you’re doing is testing a system. You try something, note how this affects the outcome, and figure out how tweaks might change things. Only a couple of times during the game does this become trying. Mostly, it’s a joy, and much of that is down to superb animation, and a lot of imagination.
Even failure is rewarding, since Polo’s demise is often entertaining in itself.
the bottom line. A wonderful, tactile, inventive puzzle game that is a joy to play.
Correctly order frames and reach the exit, or err and watch failure animations. Either’s good.